Jewish Family Rituals


The family has been and will continue to be the place where Jewish life is lit by the flame of faith and the Divine Presence is discovered. Even though the face of the Jewish family has changed dramatically over the past twenty-five years, it remains the primary vehicle through which we teach our children and nurture their character.

Today, there are unparalleled opportunities for Jewish parents to provide a Jewish home environment for their children. There exists a wealth of materials, including Jewish books, music, videos, and computer games. The UAHC has developed special bedtime ritual starter packages for younger children that contain books and music that will transform bedtime into a Jewish time. Using these resources, parents and grandparents will provide our children from their earliest age with a rich Jewish home life.

We applaud our congregations and their professional staffs for their efforts to strengthen family life, but the synagogue and its professional staff are not surrogates for a rich Jewish home life. We must ensure that the families in our congregations continue to build strong Jewish values and identities in our children.

THEREFORE, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations resolves to:

Urgently call upon its congregations to:

  1. Encourage parents to participate with their children in a Jewish bedtime ritual: reciting a prayer, reading a Jewish book, listening to a Jewish tape, watching a Jewish video, or playing a Jewish game; and
  2. Encourage our congregations to disseminate materials supplied by the Union of American Hebrew Congregations as widely as possible through nursery and preschools, day schools and religious schools; as gifts to new members; and through grandparents to their grandchildren.